Prior Lake (River Valley) YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center offers full-day care and education for infants, toddlers, preschool, and pre-kindergarten with full and part-week options for toddlers, preschool and pre-kindergarten. On-site amenities include a kids’ gym, indoor and outdoor playing area, splash deck and swimming pool, nature trails and more.
Every family deserves quality care to thrive. We offer competitive tuition rates and registration fees. Need-based scholarships are available. Contact us at (952) 222-7435 to schedule a visit and discuss weekly tuition rates.
Meet the Director
Early Childhood Learning Center District Supervisor
Kris is a graduate of St. Cloud State University’s Elementary Education program. She joined YMCA in 1984 working for many different departments throughout her career: camps, membership, aquatics, youth sports and school-age care, switching over to the Early Childhood Learning Centers in 2010.
Kris currently lives in Prior Lake with her husband, Adam, and stepson, Brad. She also has an English Mastiff, Larry, a wheaten terrier, Buster, and three cats. She enjoys fishing, movies, travel and spending time with friends and family.
Her favorite thing about Prior Lake ECLC is watching the children grown and explore new things every day. She loves the giggles, laughs, high-fives and hugs when they come to the Center.
Prior Lake Y ECLC Program Director
Julia is originally from the Bay Area of California and moved to Minnesota in 2010.
Julia is a graduate from University of Sacramento, California with her Bachelors in Child Development in 2008 then received her Master’s in Multidisciplinary Human Resources from Capella University in 2018. Julia joined the Early Childhood Learning Center at River Valley in April 2018.
Julia currently lives in Lonsdale with her husband, Ian, and their two children; Owen (11) and Olivia (7), their cat, Monet and their Great Dane, Ember.
Curriculum & Philosophy
We use the Creative Curriculum® to develop age-appropriate experiences that foster joyful learning. For each child, we address individual needs, build skills for success and incorporate STEM activities. Pairing our curriculum with the YMCA Healthy Kids Initiative, we also provide exposure to healthy eating, nutrition and physical activity for children and their families.
- Kids’ gym
- Indoor climbing and play area
- Outdoor garden
- Splash deck and swimming pool
- Walking and nature trails
Learning at Prior Lake YMCA Day Care and Preschool programs gives your child multiple opportunities to interact with children and staff that strengthens their confidence and social interactions for kindergarten.
- Kids’ Fitness
- Music and Movement
- Water Play and Safety
- Dance Classes (additional fee)
- Swimming Lessons (additional fee)
- Farm to YMCA with gardening and cooking activities
Providing a safe, secure and predictable environment is a top priority for every YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center. For more information about our policies go to:
Parent Referral Program
If you love your Early Childhood Learning experience, spread the word and get rewarded!
It’s easy to make a referral. Pass on the referred parent’s name, along with some basic information about the family to your program director.
- Complete the parent referral form and give it to your program director.
- After the new family has enrolled at any of our Early Childhood Learning Center locations and stayed for at least four weeks, you’ll receive a week’s free tuition for your oldest child.
- You can refer as many families as you’d like to earn more. Every time a child is enrolled as a result of your recommendation, you’ll get a week’s free tuition.